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Hoteliers look to international events calendar to provide respite

01 April 2009 by
Hoteliers look to international events calendar to provide respite

UK hoteliers are putting their faith in the international events calendar and the weakened sterling value to soften the impact of a difficult trading year.

Although hoteliers fear a difficult year in 2009, they remain confident that there will also be positives help weather the storm.

Peter Hancock, chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels said significant sporting events and a weaker pound had the potential to attract new business from overseas.

"But perhaps more importantly the latter makes foreign trips more expensive for UK residents, some of whom may now consider a holiday in Britain instead."

Michael Wale, regional director of operations for Northwest Europe at Starwood Hotels, agreed saying he hoped the international events London is hosting this year would have a "positive knock on effect" for its five hotels in Central London.

"These events and the volume of visitors they bring to the city are just what the capital needs - bringing trade for bars and restaurants, taxi drivers and the retail sector as well as hotels.

But Danny Pecorelli, managing director of Exclusive Hotels which includes Penny Hill Park, said: "Whilst in the main it's true that events help, it does depend on what market segments you operate in, as there is a lot of historical evidence to show that the conference market can be depressed during these events, as many of the key players for these meetings switch to corporate entertaining (either hosted or hosting at the event) therefore reducing the demand.

"This happened during both the last Rugby and football world cups, the Euros and the last UK Ashes. The big question is with the new "perception is everything" feeling will there be less corporate jollies at these events and more work than historically?"

International events will help boost UK hotel industry >>
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New tourism minister Barbara Follett grilled by Caterer readers >>
UK tourism deficit rises to £20b-plus in 2008 >>

Weak pound could boost UK tourism >>

By Gemma Sharkey

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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